Over Half Way
Sunday, July 8th 2018
There are 12 CES days during the summer and today the seventh was completed. It was another busy day with most of the birds being juveniles. The adults are moulting and are hiding away. New birds outweighed the retraps today, with 167 birds receiving their rings whilst 97 had already been ringed. There was a Chaffinch that was eight years old, first being ringed in August 2010.
Bullfinches and Greenfinches numbers are slowly increasing. Willow Warblers are also doing well with 30 new ones ringed. It is definitely a Great Tit year with 26 new birds and 42 retrapped ones, many that were ringd in the nest boxes.
Whilst trying to photograph the 'dragons' (chasers and dragonflies) on Plover's Pool John noticed a bird of prey flying overhead. Once photographed and examined it was found to be a Hobby, which is a new species for the reserve.
Almost a year ago to the day, Alicia found a Lunar Hornet Moth, at that time a new species for the reserve. Today Mark found one, only the second record. This group of moths are known as Clearwings. The larva burrow into the wood of tree trunks where they feed. Quite a ferocious looking character, mimicing a Hornet.
Always looking for something that does not 'look right' I noticed some small marks on a Silver Birch leaf. On closer inspection I found them to be the egg cases of Bronze Shieldbugs (I hope that I have the ID correct as they were very tiny.) If you look closely you can see that one has just hatched and its exo-skeleton has not hardened and darkened to its correct colour. You can also see the open egg case towards the right. These instars will shed their skin four or five times before gaining the adult shape and colour. The diet of these tiny creatures include vegetation but they also enjoy caterpillars.
The warm weather is hurrying the flowering plants along. Common Centaury, another plant spreading its range, was hidden away in the verge grasses.
Marsh Woundwort is flowering in the Scrapes.
And the first head of Pepper Saxifrage is also open and was quickly covered in pollen beetles, followed by the carnivorous Soldier Beetle.
Common Water Crowfoot never looks 'posh' as do most flowers but this is a much better photo than some that I have taken. It is flowering in the Scrapes and this year has many more flowers than it has had in the past.
It was another busy day with 264 birds processed making it the 5th best CES 7 in 26 years. Thank you to everyone involved. CES requires much commitment and hard work from all of the team and the volunteers who work behind the scenes on the net rides, not just in the summer but the winter also.
CES 8 allows us to have a little longer lie in, a 0415 start, instead of 0400.
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